Irvine Welsh grew up in Leith, Scotland. The son of working class parents, he spent his childhood in government housing, a milieu he gave voice to in his hugely popular novel and subsequent film, Trainspotting. The book was an international success and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 1993. Welsh moved to London in his twenties and played in local punk bands but returned to Edinburgh in the late-80s. Drawing inspiration from the the rave culture there, he began writing seriously and submitting to literary journals. After Trainspotting, he published Ecstasy, Glue, Porno, The Acid House and The Bedroom Secrets of Master Chefs. His books’ themes range from the Scottish identity, sectarianism, classism, immigration, unemployment, AIDS and drug use. Recent works are The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs (2006), a play, Babylon Heights (2006), written with Dean Cavanagh, and If You Liked School You'll Love Work (2007). His latest novel, Crime, was published in 2008. He has taught undergraduate creative writing at Columbia College in Chicago and currently divides his time between Miami, Chicago, Dublin and London.
Irvine Welsh: I think one of the great thing’s a lot of San Francisco is a sort of… I just love the topography of it, . It’s a great walking town. You just, you can around San Francisco and suddenly you get up on one of the hills and you’re looking over the side, and you just got a completely different aspect. You can’t believe that you were, you’ve just emerged onto this, this hill where you can just see all over the place. Then you dip down into this kind of cool neighborhood that you never sort of seen before… it’s just… And it’s obviously because of, it’s always…
Again, it’s… all America is sort of changing because of maybe… maybe San Francisco… I was going to say that affluence has driven out a lot of the edge to San Francisco. I used to go there and [IB]. There can only be this advantage to, I used to always to [walk to] San Francisco, and people used to go there for the vibe and the view and the whole kind of hippie thing and stuff like that. But, now it’s the recession might, ironically, might restore the kind of glory of San Francisco, in a way and stop it being this kind of yuppie paradise, which is kind of it’s become, with the whole Silicon thing and all that.
Recorded on: September 8, 2008